Transpilation is the process of transforming the program written in language X into the equivalent program in language Y. In contrast to compilation, languages X and Y have roughly the same level of abstraction.
In general, transpilation can serve the following main purposes:
Let’s give some examples:
As you can see from the examples above, the discussion of transpilation in general inevitably brings up the subject of translation into JS. Let’s consider its purposes and potential benefits in more detail:
We selected the frontend development tools considering the following factors:
The TypeScript and other JS extensions don’t work well for us as they offer weaker typing and their type system is not sufficiently developed as compared with Haskell. In general, these languages differ too drastically from those our team got accustomed to.
We’ve opted for Reflex instead of such alternatives as Elm and PureScript – first of all because we wanted to use the same development stack as for the backend. Moreover, Reflex saves you the trouble of following a specific application architecture and, to some extent, is more flexible and “low-level”. A detailed comparison of Elm and Reflex can be found in our post on the subject.
We were able to gain the benefits of JS transpilation we described above:
servant library that allows us to describe API at the type level and check during the compilation whether both the server handlers and the client functions use correct parameters of the required types and correspond to the current API version (if you forgot to change the client function at the frontend, it just won’t be built).
Surely, some difficulties do exist:
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